Bear sightings on the rise in Lane County


LANE COUNTY, Ore. - Signs posted at Spencer Butte are warning hikers of black bear sightings in the area.

"It's a little concerning," said hiker Ashley Remiro.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said in recent weeks, they've received reports of bear sightings across Lane County, from Veneta to just outside Eugene city limits.

"I'd be a little bit nervous I think," said hiker Melissa Harrison.

According to ODFW, right now bears are looking for food like berries. When they can't find them, they venture into neighborhoods, where trash cans are readily available.

ODFW said there are about 25,000 to 30,000 black bears in Oregon, and it's not uncommon to have sightings in or near city limits.

For more hikers at Spencer Butte, they had a few guesses as to what they'd do if they saw a bear.

"I would have to go through my survival skills checklist that is somewhere hidden in my brain," said hiker Heather Figi.

"I think I would maybe tap my water bottle around and try to be big, maybe give that a go," hiker Harrison added.

If you see a bear, ODFW suggests making yourself big, slowly walking away and making a lot of noise.